Independent food safety experts expected to cut costs for food businesses

Posted by James Ferre on 29th October 2009

A new NSW Government scheme to allow independent experts to review food safety management systems will cut red tape and costs for food businesses while maintaining food safety standards, according to the NSW Food Authority.

Suitably qualified, skilled and accredited independent auditors can now apply to the Food Authority for registration as eligible third-party auditors.

The Authority’s Director of Industry Liaison, Mr Peter Sutherland, said the new arrangement from October will initially apply for mandatory audits of hospitals, aged care facilities and delivered-meals organisations.

“This initiative, which was put together in close consultation with industry, will cut red tape and costs for businesses in the long run,” Mr Sutherland said. “It will also give businesses more flexibility to choose, without compromising on maintaining stringent food safety levels.”

To maintain safety standards, qualified third-party auditors will have to be accredited by the Food Authority and subject to rigorous reporting requirements and reviews.

“The Government has set the bar very high so food safety standards are maintained. If an auditor finds any deficiencies in a food business’s operation, he or she is obliged to report it to the Food Authority within 24 hours,” Mr Sutherland noted. “The Authority would then take appropriate compliance action.”